Salt To The Sea By Ruta Sepetys | Book Review


“War is a catastrophe. It breaks families in irretrievable pieces. But those who are gone are not necessarily lost.”

Hello, my bookish friends. It’s been a while, and I really wanted to post a book review last week, but life got in the way. Anyways, today I’m going to review a historical fiction book by Ruta Sepetys. This book just blew me away with its fascinating plot. So let’s start!

Salt To The Sea takes place in world war two in 1945. It follows the story of four young refugees. Joana, a Lithuanian nurse, Florian, a Prussian who has a secret mission, Emelia, A fifteen year old Polish girl, and Alfred, A sailor who is full of himself. All of them are trying to escape from East Prussia by going on a ship called the Wilhelm Gustloff. A ship that will save their lives and thousands of refugees from this horrible war. However, Each one of them has a dark secret and painful past. Through the crucial times of world war two, they’ll come across many obstacles that will make their journey to the ship complicated and full of dangers.

Now let’s discuss this book. The story is told by four perspectives. Joana, Florian, Emelia, and Alfred. The chapters are short and it somehow reminded me of All The Light We Cannot See, because it also has short chapters. It’s probably because whenever we think of reading a historical fiction book, we imagine lots of dates, and complex words, but it’s the opposite of what we think. Every time I read one, it makes curious about the facts that are mentioned in the book, and it also makes me more interested in history. What I liked about this book is that we don’t just get to read about how one character felt or thought about the war. We read about the struggles and sacrifices of those characters that they went through just to save their families. If you’re like me and never heard of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, then you’re going to be totally blown away. It was a military German ship, which was supposed to transfer thousand of German people to safety. Unfortunately, it was sunk on 30 January, and more than 9000 people had died. It’s known to be the biggest maritime disaster in history. How did I not know about this before? I honestly couldn’t put this book down. It’s like each chapter begged me to read the next one. I’m not much of a history lover person, but sometimes I like to read one for a change. And this one definitely lived up to the hype. I know that those characters are fictional, but somehow I got emotionally attached to them and what they were going through. This book also contains true facts and stories about world war two. It’s such a masterpiece with an insightful plot, and gripping characters. I can’t recommend this book enough.


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